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Asylum-seekers test positive for COVID-19 in Texas

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108 asylum-seekers have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus in Brownsville, TX since they began administering COVID-19 tests on Jan. 25, which is 6.3% of those who took the test, a spokesperson for Brownsville confirmed.

The city of Brownsville administers these rapid tests at the bus station, after migrant families are released by the Border Patrol, according to NBC News.

A Brownsville city spokesperson said in an email obtained by NBC News that the city does not have the authority to retain these migrants who plan to travel to cities throughout the country. The spokesperson assured that municipal workers recommend to those who test positive to keep quarantine as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The City of Brownsville continues to follow all guidelines provided by the CDC and DSHS (Department of State Health Services) for Covid-19. The migrants who test positive at the B-Metro facility are advised of quarantine procedures and are asked to socially distance,” Felipe Romero, Brownsville’s communications and marketing director, said in an emailed statement.

“There are several NGOs providing resources to a positive case,” the email continues. “For example, organizations help with quarantine either in a shelter or at hotel. Since the City started testing the migrants on January 25, there has been 6.3% of positive cases. The Cameron County positivity rate is 13.8%.”

At least eight asylum-seekers tested positive for COVID-19 in Brownsville, Tx Tuesday after crossing the Rio Grande border Monday.

Miriam Izaguirre, a 35-year-old asylum-seeker from Honduras, crossed the Rio Grande border on Monday with her son and turned herself in to the authorities, NBC News reported.

Izaguirre was then tested for coronavirus at the Brownsville bus station. As she was waiting to catch a bus to Houston, her test results came back positive.

“Right now we were tested for Covid and they separated about eight of us because we were positive,” Izaguirre told Noticias Telemundo Investiga. “We are waiting right now.”

Other migrant families who were waiting to travel to North Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey, also tested positive.

Several of the asylum-seekers who tested positive told Noticias Telemundo Investiga they were still planning to travel to their destinations, despite the positive COVID-19 results.

Eva Orellana, an asylum-seeker from Honduras who tested positive, said she was going to take the bus to North Carolina with her 3-year-old daughter. “On the way, we were wearing a mask all the time, gel, washing our hands,” she said. “Really, I don’t feel anything.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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